World Leaders Express Horror as U.S. Capitol Attack ‘Shakes the World’


BERLIN — As an angry mob stormed the heart of the world’s most powerful democracy, the rest of the world watched the once-unimaginable scenes unfolding in Washington with dismay and disbelief.

And many of those following live broadcasts of armed protesters forcing their way into the U.S. Capitol saw a warning for all the world’s democracies: If this can happen in the United States, it can happen anywhere.

“We currently witness an attack on the very fundaments of democratic structures and institutions,” said Peter Beyer, the German government’s coordinator for trans-Atlantic affairs, who was watching the scenes from Washington live on TV. “This is not merely a U.S. national issue, but it shakes the world, at least all democracies.”

As shocking as the violence on Wednesday was, some were not totally surprised that the Trump presidency was ending like this, in a spasm of chaos.

And they were.

In Russia, the violence fit neatly into the Kremlin’s propaganda narrative of a crumbling American democracy. Russia’s state-controlled news channel, Rossiya-24, broadcast the chaos in the Capitol on a split screen, one side showing happy Orthodox Christmas festivities in Russia, the other the violent mayhem in Washington.

Melissa Eddy and Christopher F. Schuetze contributed reporting from Berlin; Andrew Higgins and Anton Troianovski from Moscow; Natalie Kitroeff and Oscar Lopez from Mexico City; Aurelien Breeden from Paris; David M. Halbfinger, Isabel Kershner and Adam Rasgon from Jerusalem; and Matina Stevis-Gridneff and Steven Erlanger from Brussels.



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